Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives

by Leonard J. DeLorenzo;

Witness: Learning to Tell the Stories of Grace That Illumine Our Lives
Publication date: 2016-12-05
Number of pages: 192
ISBN: 9781594716874

Beginning with the apostles themselves, Christians have practiced the art of telling their stories to bring others to faith. Leonard J. DeLorenzo, theology professor and director of Notre Dame Vision—a program designed to help youth and young adults find their true vocation—presents seven guiding principles to help you share your faith in a genuine way and teach others to do so as well.

Unlike many evangelical Christians, Catholics often find it difficult to tell their faith stories. Leonard DeLorenzo has taught thousands of teens and young adults to relate their moments of grace in a way that is compelling, convincing, and free of clichés and vague generalizations.

The seven guiding principles he includes in Witness are:

  • Tell it as a story
  • Begin with what happened
  • Express it in style
  • Modify it for your audience
  • Ensure there is sufficient closure
  • Embrace natural emotions and
  • Pray and practice

DeLorenzo includes literary examples of writers such as C. S. Lewis and Flannery O’Connor, the conversion stories of St. Paul and St. Augustine, and real-life accounts of grace told by young adults he’s worked with. Their stories are born out of battling an anxiety disorder, struggling with a loved one’s Alzheimer’s disease, dealing with the effects of alcoholism, learning from people with mental disabilities, and overcoming an eating disorder. DeLorenzo teaches us that  by paying close attention to particular aspects of these stories, we can attune ourselves to the surprising and specific ways that grace moved through their experiences—as it does in our own. DeLorenzo provides a model for the kind of attentiveness we should foster when crafting our own stories of grace, and lead others to do so by providing an example of God’s presence in our everyday life.

Witness is a unique resource for faith-formation ministers and adults of all ages to appreciate the ways that grace is at work in your life, to inspire hope, and to build community by telling your own faith story.

Features & Benefits

  • Developed during a decade of working with young adults, these simple rules can be taught in a variety of settings such as small groups, the RCIA, and youth and young adult ministry. They are also perfect for preachers and spiritual directors.
  • The author speaks often at conferences such as NCEA, NCYC, NCCYM (including a presentation scheduled for December 2016) and has collaborated with dioceses, parishes, Catholic high schools, college campus ministries, and Newman Centers.

Leonard J. DeLorenzo teaches theology at the University of Notre Dame, where he also directs Notre Dame Vision, the Notre Dame Catechist Academy, and the Notre Dame Character Project within the Institute for Church Life. His writing has appeared in publications such as America and Church Life: A Journal for the New Evangelization.

DeLorenzo earned his doctorate in systematic theology from the University of Notre Dame, where he also earned his master’s (systematic theology) and bachelor’s degrees (theology and philosophy, summa cum laude). From August 2003 through June 2010, DeLorenzo served as the coordinator for recruitment for the Center for Catechetical Initiatives at Notre Dame. He was instrumental in creating and launching the Echo: Faith Formation Leadership Program, a graduate service program committed to renewing the ministry of catechesis in the Catholic Church. He speaks regularly on topics including the saints, adolescent catechesis, vocation and discernment, and the theological imagination.

Printed version available

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